How to be the ultimate celebrity stalker on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast has long been a hedonistic playground for the rich and famous, so if celeb spotting is a favourite hobby, there’s no need to head to LA.
You can dine, drink, play and hang out in the same spots as movie, TV and pop stars, sporting legends, celebrity chefs and those who are famous just for, well… for being famous.
Here are some tips to help you become the ultimate name-dropper in the beginning of your next holiday story.
Where to eat
Al fresco dining is de rigueur on the Gold Coast with chic restaurants and hip cafes the places to see and be seen. Don your best ‘pap snap’ outfit and head to one of the top restaurant and café precincts like Surfers Paradise, Main Beach’s Tedder Avenue or Broadbeach. There are over 20 chef hatted restaurants alone on the Gold Coast so the choices in cuisine and atmosphere fit every taste and budget.
Keep a sharply casual eye out – that diner at the next table who looks just like Pink, Matthew McConaughey, Beyoncé, Bono or Diana Ross may really be them, as all have spent some R&R time on the Gold Coast. If you really want to get up close and personal, head out to Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat for some relaxation and a chance to share a meal with Hugh Jackman, who happens to be the co-owner.
Where to party
Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Main Beach are your best bets for bumping bits with celebs. Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, the Madden Brothers and One Direction are just some of the rich and famous who have partied or performed at the Gold Coast’s hot spots. Share a cheeky cocktail with friends and keep your eyes peeled at uber-cool 1two3 Mediterranean Lounge Bar at Broadbeach or sip a glass of bubbly while taking in the view from the SkyPoint bar at the top of Q1 Resort – the world’s tallest residential tower.
Then, hit the dance floor at one of Surfers Paradise’s hottest clubs: there’s Melba’s Ultra Lounge and Club, Cocktails and Dreams, Sin City and Vanity. Sin City had the pleasure of hosting Justin Bieber and he must have had a good time because he left the club without a shirt on…
Where to play
There are no ‘velvet rope’ invitation-only beaches on the Gold Coast so you could be placing your towel on the sand and building sandcastles next to Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Joel Madden, Nicole Richie and their families, or sharing surfing legends Kelly Slater or Mick Fanning’s favourite break at Kirra.
If theme parks are your idea of fun, you may just run into Russell Crowe and his kids at Warner Bros. Movie World or the Brangelina brood at Dreamworld. If sports are your thing then grab your mates and head to a Gold Coast SUNS AFL game. You know they’re cool when Snoop Dogg backs the team, fo-shizzle. You can also make like greased lightning and head out of town and into nature. John Travolta took his kids for a koala cuddle in the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Be a location scout
The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular movie locations, with famous flicks such as Muriel’s Wedding, Scooby Doo, Peter Pan, Kokoda, The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and the fifth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean all completely or partly shot on the coast. If you’re a committed celeb hound, find out what’s being filmed nearby and see if you can casually drop by the set.
Hang with the locals
The Gold Coast also has its share of home-grown celebs including Wolf of Wall Street up-and-coming Hollywood A-lister Margot Robbie, DJs the Stafford Brothers and sports stars Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, Samantha Stosur, Emma Snowsill and Sally Pearson. Keep an eye out and you may catch them visiting their favourite local haunts.